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Comics & Graphic Novels

A research guide designed to support, inform, and streamline research on the history, themes, and technique of comics. Users will find helpful clarifications to the many formats of comics, specific citation support, and relevant databases.

Open Community Resources

Related Arts Research Guides

Learning the Craft (what's this page about?)

Understanding form is as essential to comics studies as is analysis of content. The salience of form, however, is not as appreciated across comics studies scholarship as some would like (see "Surveying the World of Contemporary Comics Scholarship: A Conversation" and the response to it in "Representation and Diversity in Comics Studies"). To help support appreciation for and understanding of the form of comics art, this page highlights books on the theory and technique of sequential art, namely comics, while also highlighting available tools, communities, and other resources for the creation comics.

Words and Pictures Working Together: Strategies for Analyzing Graphic Texts


Drawing from the Literature

Digital Tools & Hosting Platforms

The multimedia design platform, Canva, offers users an array of comic book templates to use for instructional, story-telling and/or marketing goals. In addition to their variety of comic strip templates (explore template page) Canva has a vast library of icon elements (speech balloons, thought bubbles, onomatopoeias) to ensure your webcomic meets the formal figural standards of comic art. All of Canva's comic design tools are available through free version of Canva subscription; some elements may be limited to pro account. Below  are step-by-step instructions from Canva for creating your webcomic:


1. Find your template

  Pick a blank canvas or choose a Comic Strip template.




2. Explore your template

    Each template comes with a complete page, a blank page, speech bubbles, and illustrations.





3. Customize your comic

""      Tell your story, edit the colors, speech bubbles icons, and more.






4. Publish and share

  Share your comic on social media, download and print.

ComicFury webcomic hosting is a freeeasy to use and advertisement-free tool that will help you easily set up and host a website for your webcomic, without any technical knowledge. All you will have to worry about when using ComicFury is actually making the comics, the rest is provided by us. ComicFury gives your webcomic a completely customizable website, you can make your own layout, configure a ton of settings and it even comes with an author blog, RSS feeds and comment system.

"Pixton allows teachers and students to construct their own comic strips. There are a variety of comic strip layouts, numerous character and background choices, and a ton of creative options. This is a great learner-centered tool that allows students to construct their own knowledge and display it in a way that is meaningful to them by allowing them to create comics representing their concepts and ideas" (Pixton Comics | Online Tools for Teaching & Learning, n.d.) While it does not cost to create a Pixton account, templates for design are very limited in free version. Paid subscriptions are required to gain access to more templates and assets.

Comic Life 3 is an app (desktop client for Windows and Mac) with everything you need to make a stunning comic from your own images. Packed with fonts, templates, panels, balloons, captions, and lettering art, Comic Life is a fun, powerful and easy-to-use app with endless possibilities. Most notable is ability to easily incorporate your own photos and drawings into comic work. There is a 30 free trial of the app with educational pricing.